tv Mc Laughlin Group PBS November 16, 2014 4:00pm-4:31pm PST
from washington, the mclaughlin group. the american original. for over three decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. issue one. asia pivot. a week after his shellacking in the u.s. midterm elections, president obama has been traveling in asia. the asia pacific economic cooperation apec summit forrum in beijing, china. here, mr. obama was able to utilize and reenforce his credentials. the u.s. president used straightforward, if not admonitory language. >> we look to china to create a more level playing field on
which foreign companies are treated fairly. they can compete fairly with chinese companies. we look to china to become an innovative economy that values the protection of intellectual property rights and rejects cyber theft of trade secrets for commercial gain. president obama also announced that visas for chinese citizens to travel to the united states will be extendened on a reciprocal basis from one to ten years. according to the white house, this reform means that seven years from now, china trade will then have contributed nearly $85 billion a year through the american domestic economy and has supported up to 440,000 u.s. jobs. >> question, what did president obama achieve or not achieve at the apec summit in china? pat buchanan. >> little or nothing. this was a huge triumph for the chinese. $85billion in american exports
to china. they run a $300 surplus at our expense every year. they have $4 trillion in currency reserves. they are building prosperity, i mean, like napolian tried to do in europe. they use their investment and aide to get tangible and hard gains for them. the chinese are really doing to the united states in this century and at the end of the last century what the united states did to great britain at the end of the 19th century. basically eclipsing them and moving them out as the first military and economic power on earth. >> eleanor. >> pat doesn't like trade. he doesn't like globalization. you have to put what he said in perspective. the chinese are lowering the tariff significantly on technology, which will be great for u.s. manufactures. but the important thing that emerged from this meeting was the deal on climate. and it is significant that the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases are basically
acknowledging the reality that this is a serious issue. it's for the planet. they both made promises and it's true that both of them are set on these projectlies toward the commitments they made already. but neither will be able to walk back on these commitments. the president obama has already made a number of executive actions that will be more on coal and the next president, even if it's a republican, is not going to come in and say, let's go back to polluting more. and the chinese are serious about this because nobody wants to breathe the air that comes out of the tall pipe of a car. and that's what the air in beijing is like. if you watch the beijing marathon recently, people were running with masks. they were ventilators. it's the only way you could breathe. so this is a significant step. most presidents come back from china empty handed and president obama was invited to the compound, which is the president's residence. the last president to be
invited there was richard nixon, who made the first real opening with china. >> i think a couple things now. it's a positive step that the president has been able to negotiate this visa extension. china, there are a lot of wealthy individuals in china that can invest in the united states. hopefully we'll see more of that. the concern is the broader lure of china. the president mentions the issue with cyber crime on the part of the chinese government. my concern, though, is that with this climate deal that really doesn't have any emphasis for the chinese actually to do anything in the short-term. it's deliberate in the language. because there are no ramifications for china's continued stealing of american propriety rights, that the relationship is still one sided towards the chinese and doesn't actually do enough to benefit american interests. >> mort. >> i think by and large, i think that's true. this is going to be a relationship that is going to evolve over time.
i actually thought this was a very constructive step forward. it's not going to solve all of the problems. it's too complicated. particularly with the country like china, which has a different political system. nevertheless, i think they were moved and moving in the right direction and i think this is another step in a long-term process that i think is always welcome rather than turning into something that is just hostile. >> the white house really worked this, the private correspondence between the two presidents. the visit in sunny land. president obama, for all the criticism he has taken for not being engaged and not forming personal relationships, he has done this with this chinese leader and it's paying off. >> they are deeply economically nationalist. the united states believes in this new world order, globalization, globalism, what's best for the globe. they believe in what is best for number one. just as the americans once did
and the british did before us and the germans did under bismarck. what we are seeing, you have seen the massive industrialization of the united states. where do you think those factories have gone? >> okay, the other side of the coin. china has plans of its own to challenge u.s. influence in asia. president persuaded apec leaders to adopt his free trade area of the asia pacific agreement and at the same time, announcing major new spending which will boost china's regional influence. >> china will commit a $40 billion u.s. dollars to the establishment to provide investment and financing support for countries along the belgium road to undertake projects in infrastructure, resources development, and industrial cooperation. >> question. what will be the upshot of president z's regional economic proposal? tom.
>> i think what's happening here is that the chinese are trying to exert that regional influence in a much bigger way. this investment, the more open tone in terms of apec trying to be a bit more -- the chinese have a problem in the rule of law. if you think about what is happening in the populous movements in the philippines and vietnam, concern about chinese role and encrouching into territory. the united states has an opportunity, if we are willing to be bold, to buffer against china in that rule of law area, which gets under covered. the question is, that needs credibility and who has the greater result. >> there's no doubt, as opposed to threating the philippine, threatening the japanese. at the same time, where did they get $40 billion to hand out in foreign aid? they are using that to tie these countries together. they get it from the enormous exports. these trade deficits we have been running year in and year
out. nobody talks about them. >> it was talked about very much at the summit, which is why if you get the lowering on the kind of products we make, that we can get over there. you are arguing about battles that have already been lost. chris this morning, when people open up the gifts under the tree, every one has been made in china. we lost that fight. so where is the next generation of jobs going to come from? it's going to come from opening markets in china, which is for the kind of things -- >> for the way they invaded ours? are you kidding? >> they lowered their tariff. you have to start somewhere. the chinese economy is slowing. obama had an upper hand in this meeting. okay, things that go bump in the night. >> in august, the pentagon warned that a chinese fighter aircraft jet had flown dangerously close to a u.s.p8 military plane off the coast of china. later this year, china expanding its nuclear submarine
fleet to include attack submarines armed with nuclear missiles. with a range of nearly 5,000 miles, these nuclear warheads are capable of striking the united states from east asia. because of this rising potential for a military miscalculation at sea, or in the air, the u.s. and china signed defense protocalls this week to minimize the chances for dangerous encounter to better coordination about maneuvers, advanced notice, and military to military communication. >> question. is this perhaps the most important achievement of the summit? mort zuckerman. >> it certainly is an important achievement. i have to say i disagree with pat's analysis. >> i think all of us do, don't we? >> at this point, not always. i think china is an emerging country and an emerging power. i don't think they are intending to be just a military power, although because of their ideology, they will
protect themselves. but they are great business people. great traders, always have been. this is a part of their culture and we'll make place for them, okay? and we should make a place for them. >> this was a good agreement, i think. the thing is, john, they have not -- that the south china sea is their territorial waters. and the east china sea is their territorial waters. they are moving their navy into the indian ocean. they have a ways to go. but if you take a look at the trough t trojectory. >> they put things kind of on the back burner and i think that the temperature has been greatly lowered about the fight with japan. >> does china's nuclear submarine fleet make an agreement an urgent need? >> i think it does. i also think the issue here broadly with the security is that the chinese tend to see, because of the political culture, these oral agreements
a different way than we do. our leadership, the president, sees it as a fundamental thing you have to agree with. the chinese see it as something more flexible. and the nuclear submarine issue is a primary concern because of the threat they pose to u.s. aircraft carriers. one hit, you have 5,000 ,000 dead americans. but the way they are encrouching in the east china sea and that does require military buffering and also requires a posture that says to the chinese, you cannot do what you are doing in terms of the threats to our personnel, because there will be re precushions. >> i think if the chinese threaten, we potentially take them out. >> this is a new chinese president and new leaders around him and i think the way they conducted this summit and what they are doing signals they will do business differently. and you may say that they are going to walk away from this or
that. if they make a commitment, they can carry it through. they don't have to steer around mitch mcconnell. >> hold on. is there a growing sense among u.s. policymakers that china is preparing for war with america? >> i don't -- look. china studied closely what happened between germany and britain. when germany was the rising power before world war i and britain who handled it badly and destroyed each other. they know that. they will move with toughness and caution. i think ping is one of the most impressive leaders. >> here's my notation on that. according to michael pillsbury, writing in the current issue of foreign policy. many pentagon planners believe china is planning for war. even kissen ger warns that the u.s. and china could be headed for a quote, world war i scale unquote, fight with millions of casualties. what about that? >> i talked to henry about
china just the day before yesterday. and henry was talking to some of the things i am saying now. china is a middle kingdom. you have to understand they see things entirely different than we do. there's a real danger of a clash, but i don't believe the chinese want a war with the united states. we certainly don't. and it's in neither of our interest. there's no doubt they are growing and building and rising. >> what about the submarines they have? >> i mean, the chinese will get away, if they think they can get away with being tough, they will. the political culture is communist. >> if you are going to be paranoid, look at cyber attacks. that's where people are vulnerable. i wouldn't look for their submarines coming up on our shores. >> okay, guests behaving badly. on arriving at the apec summit in china, president obama
strolled in chewing gum. the president chews nicotine gum, so he is not jonessing for a cigarette. how did the chinese view his gum chewing? as gauche. the apec summit -- over the shoulders of the first lady of china. who by the way, quickly slipped it off. how did the chinese view this shaw draping incident? as flirtatious? question, did president obama and president putin need to remember the old adage, when in rome, do as the romans do. do you get the point? >> they weren't in rome. everybody will get over it. i'm not concerned. >> what about the chewing of the gum? >> well, don't look at me. >> you see the ridiculous attention it's getting? >> it is ridiculous, to be honest with you. it is probably not the most polite thing to do. but so what. if he's chewing gum, you know.
i got to tell you -- >> what happened to his previous week in china. devastated by an election. so does this over the weekend, i don't know. i'm not saying it. he might have slipped in a cigarette or two to recover from this. >> it's possible. >> and now maybe he has to go back to the nicotine gum. >> it's possible. >> so what. >> he should have brought a doctor's note. >> so what. >> you think putin was gallant putting that shaw around that freezing woman's arms, john? >> i think it was from his perspective, i think he thought he was being gallant. >> i think he did, too. >> he's comfortable with the cold. >> what do you think it was. >> if the chinese don't like it, don't like it. we have our traditions and that was a nice thing to do. >> did you see what she looked like? >> critical of obama, but -- >> you didn't chew gum.
>> did anyone view that as an act of flirtation? >> barack to birma. ♪ [ music ] on wednesday, the president visited birma, also known as myanmar. china, end india, and thailand. its capital is -- in 2012, after discussions with then secretary of state, hillary clinton, birma's military agreed to move towards democracy. today, the reform process has stalled. political freedoms remain limited. and the country is racked by sectarian hostilities. can president obama salvage democracy? mort. >> the birmese will have to
salvage. there's a lot of tier turmoil and violence. you have cultures like that, an easy willingness to refer to military pressure on their people. i don't think that's going away. >> sectarian violence, john. the muslims in birma persecute horribly and treated horribly. it's a good thing if the president of the united states talks in private and says please cut this out. we can't do business with you. if you do that, but in the longer run, the united states will have to start looking out for its own national interest when it goes to countries and not telling them whether they can have a republic, a democracy, a monarchy, or whatever they want to have. >> we provide aid and do cultural exchanges and that sort of thing. you can ratchet that up or down. it's appropriate for the u.s. pho project its values that way. >> can he -- >> i think he can, you know, the leadership of birma has a
lot more to gain from joining the community of nations in the area of democracy and expanded trade, economic. my uncle was just there. the president needs to make that clear to them. >> the opposition leader is an icon to american women. and so she forbidden to run for president because they wrote something into the constitution, if you have some relationship with a foreign country and her two sons have british passport. she was criticized because she didn't speak up. nobody dares mention their name, it's so sensitive. there's actually a say their name hashtag in this country to actually speak of the problem. and the president did mention them in the press conference and presumably was tougher in private. especially people who care about the environment and
progressive and also again, democrats who felt like the election didn't go well, they are looking at this president. he is not afraid to exercise his power on the world stage and he is also exercising it here at home. he's really defining the next two years with immigration reform, climate change, and net neutrality, who knew that was going to be such a big issue. the president is much more emboldened, i think, than certainly the republicans thought he would be. >> here is an oddity. the day after his breakthrough deals with china were announced, gallop tracked his approval rating dropped by 1%. while his disapproval rating went up by 1%. he stands at 41% approval and 53% disapproval and the gallop polling. can you believe that? >> i can believe it. but i think there is an issue, though, with the american people don't tend to,
unfortunately, pay as much attention as we should to foreign policy. i mean, it will be interesting to see when the president returns with that polling data. the tangibles. my concern, again, is the climate change, china on the security side. the proof will be in the pudding, to use a british term. in the details. rhetoric is meaningless. >> you think there's more rhetoric in this trip than reality? >> at the moment, reality has to be defined in physical acts. >> john, we seem -- >> i think they think that it was more reality than it was rhetoric. >> they would? >> look at our concerns. human rights, these other things are all good things. they are very soft. the chinese are interested in real power. economic, military, strategic and that's the way they look at things and us talking about, you know, carbon dioxide for these guys. >> that's a serious issue. it's nothing to be ramped at
until we figure out the rich can breathe different air than the poor. >> i think some lurched into the truth. what do you have to say? >> the reason why the american public isn't all that engaged in all of these trips, okay, is because they have other issues here to worry about, including one of the worst unemployment or under employment records in a very, very long time. an economy that is very weak. a sense of a loss of real leadership at the national level. why should they get so concerned whether somebody is chewing gum or not? with all due respect, and i take your point, pat. there are real issues here that is going to keep the american public focused and that's the right way to do it. >> issue three, battle for the net. >> the internet has become at the home, on the job, even on the street where people use it on their cell phones. 90% of american adults now use the internet. up from get this, 14% in 1995.
it's hard today to imagine a world without the internet. but is the internet as we know it subject to change? that depends on the federal communications commission. the fcc. the agency, which get this, makes decisions independent of the president and congress. had signaled it would allow cable companies which provide internet access to millions, like verison and at&t, to charge higher fees to internet companies to ensure their content is delivered to consumers faster. those companies hyperthreatically, would pass on those higher fees to consumers. in other words, the internet of the future might be turned into a two tiered system. where those can afford it, big internet companies and wealthier consumers will be on an internet quote, unquote, fast lane. while smaller companies and nonwealthy consumers will have to settle for an internet slow
lane. well, the idea of faster and slower lanes and higher fees isn't sitting well with many internet companies like netflix, and tumblr that provide content to consumers. neither is it sitting well with many consumers who flooded the fcc website with 4 million comments. many of those comments exhorting the fcc for net neutrality. that is all content and data on the internet should be treated equally. equally accessible and at the same speed. a level playing field. one notable advocate of this net neutrality, president obama. weighed in big this week. >> that's why i'm urging the federal communications commission to do everything they can to protect net neutrality for everyone. they should make it clear that whether you use a computer, phone, or tablet. internet providers have a legal obligation not to block or limit your access to a website.
>> question, what does president obama want the fcc, federal communications commission, to do to ensure net neutrality? eleanor. >> net neutrality means don't pick winners and losers and the president wants the fcc to regulate the internet like a utility. in other words, it is equal to all. and ted cruz, republican, has said that what obama wants is obama care for the internet. and he has a wage fight on behalf of the the big telecoms. this is a fight between google and comcast. what side do you want to be on? 80% of conservatives are for net neutrality. i mean, it's basically just a handful of companies like comcast, that are on the other side. and so i mean, it's about regulation, which usually republicans don't like, but in this case they seem to want more of it. >> i asked a friend what he
thought of this. this is the answer. this is an imperial presidency, from granting legal status to millions of illegal aliens by presidential decree, to claiming the internet as a public utility, to unilaterally committing the u.s. to drastic carbon reductions without congressional consent. the obama presidency knows no bounds. what do you think of that? >> i have some sympathy from that point of view and it's far away from the presidential montra. the real issue is, people don't understand it. and the broader concern that i have is that ultimately, you know, if you are looking towards the future with investment by the isp, the providers of the internet. you need to give them a financial incentive to do that. if you don't, you'll see a depreciation and we may lose a lot of economic opportunity because we don't have the enstructure. >> i agree with that completely. i think that is going to be a
major issue. how do you keep the evolving technologies and uses of the internet? they will come out of the major companies in one form or another and a lot is going to be taken away from them. >> i think tom is dead right. there's no doubt barack obama, the president has a very popular position. i mean, look, you have to have high speed for some of these things. i think you have to find a balance between the two. >> prediction. president obama, executive amnesty. two, four to six million illegal aliens living in the united states. yes or no? >> yes, and it will split the republican party apart. >> oh, i can't improve on that, pat. but i would say it's not executive amnesty. it's work permits for people who are here. >> yes, i think he will. it won't split the republican party. i think by the next election, 2016, there will be less. >> yes, he will, and i think it will not do the democrats any -- >> roe began is right. bye bye.
this week on "moyers & company" -- >> our democracy is flat lined because when you can show clearly there's no relationship between what the average voter cares about, only if it happens to coincide with what the economic elite care about, you've shown that we don't have a democracy anymore. >> when you talk about the corruption in congress, people are talking about the same thing that madison was talking about. this sense that our public servants are just serving themselves. they're running away with the resources of our country. >> announcer: funding is provided by anne gumowitz, encouraging the renewal of democracy. carnegie corporation of new york, supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security at carnegie.org. the ford foundation, working with vision